Page 2 - BathCUMC

Centenary United Methodist Church

3 W Washington St
Bath, NY

Pastor - Eleanor Collinsworth
Phone - 607-776-3434
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Page 2

Newsletter
Women of The Bible - Part Forty-four

  
The Story of Bilhah
As retold in rhyme by Bob Dunham
Based upon Genesis 29:29; 30: 3-5, 7; 35: 22, 25; 37:2; 46:25; I Chronicles 7:13  


Bilhah was Rachel’s handmaiden, a gift from her father, Laban.
Women were expected to have children to ensure that the clan
Would continue to grow from one generation to another.
Unfortunately, Rachel, married to Jacob, wasn’t becoming a mother.

So Rachel, knowing what was expected and unable to conceive
Did what she thought she must.  She had to believe
That it was her responsibility to assure that Jacob had an heir.
That’s why she gave Bilhah to her husband – a solemn affair.

Polygamy was accepted and was often the case.
Bilhah became a wife to Jacob and took her place
As part of the family where she bore him two sons.
Dan and Naphtali were Bilhah’s little ones.

Each of her sons, as adults, formed a tribe of Israel.
The Danites were one. We know one of the descendants well.
Samson (remember Delilah?) was part of Dan’s family tree,
A name very well known in biblical history.

Bilhah’s other son, Naphtali, founded a huge clan.
The first census taken found that, in a short timespan,
His tribe, which occupied the territory in North Palestine,
Numbered, fighting men alone, over 53,399.

Bilhah, among women of the bible, is not well known,
For Rachel eventually had a child, Joseph, and, when he was grown,
He would become the most important of all of Jacob’s progeny.
Still, Bilhah played a key role in the family destiny.

There were twelve tribes of Israel – Jacob’s legacy.
Rachel, her sister Leah, Bilhah and Leah’s maid, Zilpah, would be,
Collectively, the mothers of all of Jacob’s offspring.
Imagine, today, a man giving four women, a wedding ring.

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